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Land of 10,000 Links

July 27, 2021

Written By: Jeff Bennett

The North Star State truly does love golf! Year after year, Minnesota ranks in the top 10 in both golfers per household and golf courses per capita. Because of our love for the game, I thought it would be fun to share two of the amazing courses Minnesota has to offer. Everyone knows about Hazeltine National, but there are some great courses out there that have proven to be a fun challenge without breaking the bank. I’ll be highlighting one local course and also a resort about three hours up state in the Iron Range.

Braemar Golf Course – Edina, MN

In the spring of 2019, the city of Edina opened its new 18-hole Braemar Golf Course designed by Richard Mandell. The new course replaced the original 27-hole facility, giving the golf holes more space. It also allowed the city to expand wetland areas and restore over 30 acres of oak savanna. After almost three years of work, the new Braemar 18 is a beautiful yet forgiving golf course for people of all skill levels.  “Width for strategy has always been an element of my philosophy, going back to the nineties,” said Mandell.

On several holes Mandell has also employed central hazards, which emphasize the shot choices available. At the par-five fourth, for example, golfers can either choose a direct route to the left of a series of central bunkers or take the safer, but longer, high route to the right of them. This second option also rewards well-executed shots with a kick down the hillside towards the green. “The hazards are there not to punish golfers, but to challenge them to think their way around the golf course,” said Mandell. Braemar will prove to be one of the best courses for the money, especially when applying the Edina resident discount.

Braemar Golf Course – Edina, MN

 

Giant’s Ridge Resort – The Quarry and The Legend Golf Courses – Biwabik, MN

Giants Ridge, home of two Jeffrey Brauer-designed courses, has long been considered one of Minnesota’s best resort golf vacation destinations. Few other golf facilities in the nation can claim more than one course in Golf Digest‘s “Top 100” list like Giants Ridge can. Using the double play deal, I like to start with The Quarry golf course in the morning.  The Quarry will be one of the most challenging golf courses you will ever experience, and the lunch included in the deal will give you a much-needed break to regroup. The more forgiving Legend golf course is next, offering wider fairways and less required hazard carry.  The par-three #17 (pictured below) is The Legend’s signature hole, and it might be the most beautiful par-three in the state. After golf, head back to the Golf Villas to enjoy the evening and recall the struggles of the day. Dinner on your deck with golf friends overlooking Lake Wynne is the perfect finish to amazing day of golf.

The Legend Golf Course #17

 

Sources

https://www.golfcoursearchitecture.net/content/braemar-golf-course-reopens-with-new-design-by-richard-mandell

https://www.giantsridge.com/golf/?gclid=CjwKCAjw55-HBhAHEiwARMCszo3PIPQ3ZsWEaXmW_EXhTrj1lzdhpr8zJ17PHZ0V6oID-xupnJ1XAxoCwfkQAvD_BwE


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